Officials asked to complete priority projects on time

- POST REPORT, Kathmandu

Apr 28, 2014-

Prime Minister Sushil Koirala on Monday directed secretaries and project chiefs to complete on time the construction of all 21 ‘national pride projects’ ranging from roads, hydropower, irrigation and railway to drinking water.

Stating that the environment for investment had been favourable after the second Constituent Assembly elections in the country, Prime Minister Koirala urged the authorities to expedite the construction of vital infrastructure projects for overall economic development.

During a review meeting on Monday held to discuss the status of national priority projects, Koirala said unnecessary conflicts or lack of coordination among the ministries should be discouraged and construction expedited for timely accomplishment of projects. “The country is now experiencing peace and stability. Development works should not be affected at any cost,” he said.

Koirala said that the government should encourage developers to invest in hydropower projects to meet the energy needs for commercial and household purposes. “Energy is our priority,” he added. A mid-term review report prepared by the Ministry of Finance released last month found that the expenditure for the priority projects had been visibly low despite huge investments from the state coffers.

According to the report, only 12.13 percent budget was spent on the 21 projects in the first half of the current fiscal year. Of the total Rs 21.50 billion allocated, only Rs 2.82 billion was spent in the review period. The spending in the priority projects of Bhairahawa Regional International Airport, Second International Airport and West Seti Hydropower Project is nil. Other two projects—Bheri-Babai Diversion Multipurpose Project and Kathmandu-Tarai Fast Track—spent less than one percent of the funds allocated to them, says the report.

Upper Tamakoshi Hydro-electricity Project is expected to be completed by 2017 while the detailed feasibility study, bidding documents and detailed project report of Budhi Gandaki Hydro-electricity Project are expected to be ready within a year. The Chinese company Three Gorges has shown interest in constructing West Seti project and the government will ask it to start construction soon.


Published: 29-04-2014 08:30

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